Vandalism Masquerading as Progress: A History of Lake Ontario’s Fisheries


Part One of this paper by Martin Nantel reviews the ecological transformation that occurred in Lake Ontario after 1750 and the factors – including overfishing, habitat destruction, and the introduction of exotic species – that contributed to it. Part Two examines the institutions – including the open access regime and “progressive” fisheries management – responsible for the transformation. The paper concludes by arguing for new, locally appropriate institutional arrangements that will set Lake Ontario and its fisheries on an ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable course. Continue reading


Troubled Waters: Municipal Wastewater Pollution on the Atlantic Coast


This report, by Martin Nantel, examines the environmental and socioeconomic effects caused by the daily discharge of 1.1 million cubic metres of treated and untreated sewage in the waters of the Atlantic region. The report also addresses governments’ failure to enforce the legislation intended to regulate sewage treatment plants and proposes a solution to alleviate sewage pollution on the East Coast. Continue reading

Municipal Wastewater Pollution in British Columbia


This report by Martin Nantel examines the environmental damage caused by the discharge of treated and untreated sewage into B.C. waters, paying special attention to the threats posed to the Fraser River salmon. It also addresses governments’ failure to enforce the legislation intended to regulate sewage treatment plants and recommends a number of measures to alleviate sewage pollution in the province. Continue reading

Eliminating sewage pollution; reforming fisheries; siting controversial facilities


Quebec’s bureaucrats don’t appreciate our findings. They complain that our recent study of sewage pollution in Quebec makes them look like they’re incompetent, or not doing their jobs. And no wonder. The study, by Environment Probe researcher Martin Nantel, points out that although Quebec has made considerable progress since the 1970s (when wastewater treatment facilities served less than two per cent of the population), 376 municipalities, representing 1.5 million people, still flush their sewage directly into lakes and rivers. When we released the study early this year, media interest created great consternation in government ranks. The Environment Minister is now demanding explanations from senior bureaucrats, who berate our uncompromising positions.

Continue reading

Sewage Treatment and Disposal in Quebec: Environmental Effects


Martin Nantel reviews the rules and agreements regulating municipal sewage treatment in Québec and demonstrates how unaccountable governments plagued by conflicts of interest fail to enforce their own laws. The report ends with a series of recommendations that would alleviate sewage pollution in the province. Continue reading